John Kenworthy ASHHURST

ASHHURST , John Kenworthy

Service Numbers: 6421, 5383
Enlisted: 21 July 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 11th Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Bridgewater, South Australia, 15 September 1895
Home Town: Bridgewater (South Australia), Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Bridgewater Public School & Mt Barker High School, SA
Occupation: Chemist's Assistant
Died: Killed in Action, Ypres, Belgium, 22 July 1917, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Bus House Cemetery
Ypres (Ieper), Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium. (F. 19)
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bridgewater Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

21 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 6421, Keswick, South Australia
2 Dec 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 6421, 4th Field Ambulance, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1,

--- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '22' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: RMS Malwa embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''

2 Dec 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 6421, 4th Field Ambulance, RMS Malwa, Adelaide
14 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 5383, 10th Infantry Battalion
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, 6421, 8th Field Ambulance, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
11 Feb 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, 6421, 11th Field Artillery Brigade
3 May 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Gunner, 6421, 11th Field Artillery Brigade


The ANZAC edition of the AFL record presents a list of persons who have played SANFL football and have served their country and made the ultimate sacrifice. Among the names mentioned is John K. Ashhurst who played for SANFL North Adelaide club in the 1914 year, prior to enlistment. Rest In Peace. Lest We Forget.

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Embarkation Roll ( incorrectly spelled Surname ASHURST


Son of Thomas ASHHURST and Nina nee STIRLING

Taken on strength 2 March 1916

Transferred to the 8th Field Ambulance 1 March 1916 (part of the 5th Division)

7 April 1916 - Assigned to 111th Battery

11 February transferred to the 11th Field Artillery Brigade 41st Artillery Battery

5 May 1917 Wounded in action  - shrapnel wound to scalp

6 May 1917 - Admitted to hospital (3rd Canadian Gen Hospital)

25 June 1917 - returned to France via Larkhill (School of Artillery)

22 July 1917 - Killed in action.



1914/15 Star

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Commemorative Plaque & Scroll 327939










Biography contributed by St Francis de Sales College

John Ashhurst was a 19-year-old boy who had 3 siblings, two sisters, Alice and Hetty, and one brother. He was born in 1894 in Bridgewater South Australia. Ashhurst was a student and worked as a chemist assistant. For school, he attended Mount Barker High, SA. His dad was Thomas Ashhurst and Mum Nina Ashhurst. He enlisted at the young age of 19 on the 21st of July 1915. Ashhurst enjoyed art and got recognition from the Adelaide School of Art Examination in 1910.

John enlisted on the 21st of July 1915, and he joined the forces on the 30th. His service number is 6421. He got put into the 4th Field Ambulance and his rank being prompted was private. He embarked on the RMS Malwa on the 2nd of Dec 1915. John and his division were responsible for the 'Second Line' evacuation from 'First Line' Regimental Aid Posts (RAP) in each Battalion. These men would be trained to administer First Aid sufficient to clear airways, staunch bleeding, and perhaps splint fractures so that casualties could be evacuated to the Battalion RAP.

On the 23rd of February 1916, John proceeded to be taken on strength to the 52nd battalion in Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt, where he trained with other soldiers in the First Australian Imperial Force reinforcements for 15 days. 40,000 Australians camped in a small tent city at Tell El Kebir of six miles in length. Then a military railway was eventually constructed to take troops from the camp to their vessels in Alexandria and elsewhere for embarkation to Gallipoli landings. After those 15 days, John was transmitted to the 8th Field Ambulance. The 8th Field Ambulance was formed in Egypt as a part of the 'doubling of the AIF' in Egypt following the Gallipoli evacuation and the (8th) Brigade to France and Belgium.

After following the 8th Brigade for a few weeks John is then again taken on strength again to 24th Brigade and posted to the 111th Howitzer Battery in Serapeum on the 3rd of April. The 111th Howitzer Battery was raised as part of the 24th Howitzer Brigade. The aim of the Battery was to provide a high angle fire capability based on experience at Gallipoli.

Then on the 27th, he proceeded to the 13th Field Ambulance for 18 days then returned to 24th Howitzer Brigade. Reaching June, John proceeded to join British Expeditionary Force in Alexandria Egypt. On the 25th of January 1917, John got taken on strength to the 11th Artillery Brigade and posted to 41st Battery. As well as being promoted to temporary bombardier because solider Grics W.J evacuated sick in France.

John got reverted to a Gunner on transfer to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade and posted 39th battery whilst still in France on the 6th. Whilst on the field John suffered a gunshot shrapnel wound to the scalp, but he shortly got admitted to the 3rd southern general hospital, Oxford. John stayed in the hospital from the 22 of May till the 6th of June. John gets departed from Oxford hospital and taken near Perham Downs. Eventually going back overseas to Southampton, France.

Reaching the destination, John marches to Rouelles, France to the 4th Division Artillery. Whilst taken on strength to join them. Scoping out with them for a few days and returning once again to the 11th Field Artillery Brigade.

17 days later, while still with the 11th Brigade and posted to the 41st Battery, John was with a few other people in his group. One of his friends (H. Waters) was watching him from a little dugout when John was stepping into a trench just left of Canal, Ypres District when a shell burst on the parapet and killed him and two others in action on Sunday the 22nd of July 1917. John and the two others were carried and taken to Bushouse Belgium, to the right of Spoilbank in front of Hollebeke where he got buried by a few mates of his. He died at the age of 21 years old. His grave is now located at Ypres (Ieper), Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium. (F. 19). The Ashhurst family was devastated when receiving the letter reporting back to announce the death of their youngest child. John Kenworthy Ashhurst was a brave man. Mount Barker High School has a room named after him to honour his memory.